Lou­vre Mu­seum in Paris read­ies ‘cul­tural de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion’ plan

Iran Daily - - Arts & Culture -

The Lou­vre Mu­seum hopes to trans­form it­self and shake off its in­tim­i­dat­ing im­age be­fore the Paris Olympics in four years’ time, its di­rec­tor said. The world’s most vis­ited mu­seum is work­ing on a ma­jor over­haul of how its vast col­lec­tions are pre­sented and ex­plained, Jean-luc Martinez told re­porters.

“We need to be ready in 2023/2024 for the Olympic Games, with longer hours and more rooms open,” he said.

To counter its elitist im­age, the mu­seum will strive for a “cul­tural de­moc­ra­ti­za­tion” to make its trea­sures more ac­ces­si­ble with im­proved pre­sen­ta­tion, la­bel­ing and cu­rat­ing, thes­tar.com re­ported.

Martinez, who comes from a work­ing-class back­ground, said he wanted to build on the out­reach suc­cess of the Lou­vre’s out­post mu­seum in Lens, a poor for­mer min­ing town in north­ern France.

He said some­times the for­mer royal palace in the heart of Paris can “in­tim­i­date” cer­tain de­mo­graph­ics and the mu­seum needs to re­as­sure peo­ple that its col­lec­tions are also for them.

Traf­fic on the mu­seum’s web­site has jumped ten­fold, Martinez said, adding that the site “will be com­pletely over­hauled next year ... with all col­lec­tions go­ing on­line”.

There will be more sto­ry­telling and sce­ne­set­ting in both French and English, Martinez added.

Vis­i­tors un­der age 26 al­ready have free ac­cess to the Lou­vre, but Martinez is in­tro­duc­ing a free 20-minute mini-visit this sum­mer in an at­tempt to lure Parisians back in­side.

The mu­seum – which will re­open af­ter the lock­down on July 6 – wants to at­tract more French vis­i­tors af­ter los­ing more than $45 mil­lion at the box of­fice since the coro­n­avirus struck.

Three-quar­ters of the Lou­vre’s vis­i­tors are from abroad.

With tourism at a stand­still, “we are los­ing 80 per­cent of our pub­lic,” Martinez said.

The next three years are likely to be less than spec­tac­u­lar, he pre­dicted.

“We are go­ing to be at best 20 per­cent to 30 per­cent down on last sum­mer – be­tween 4,000 and 10,000 vis­i­tors a day,” he es­ti­mated.


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